Court jails kidnap kingpin Evans for 21 years

Suspected kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, and his co-defendant Victor Aduba, an ex-soldier, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping.

Evans and Aduba had pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Hafia on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and demanded a ransom of $2 million.

A Lagos High Court had earlier sentenced him and two others to life imprisonment for conspiracy and the kidnap of the managing director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Limited, Donatus Dunu.

Delivering judgment on Monday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that the prosecution had successfully proven the case of kidnap and possession of firearms against the convicts.

“It has been established by the prosecution that the prosecution witness (PW3, Ahamonou) complainant was kidnapped. The question is who kidnapped him?

“Pw3 identified the first defendant in court while he was giving his testimony. He also recognised him at the police station nearly two months before the matter was taken to court.

“He testified that he was blindfolded before being taken to the bus. He said ‘Immediately I saw him, I said this was the person that kidnapped me’ I also watched the video where the first defendant admitted to having kidnapped pw3.

“The first defendant sat on a comfortable chair and there was no sign that he made the statement under duress. He was not threatened or harassed. He signed the statement.

“He also said how he broke into banks and later graduated to kidnapping. I am satisfied that this court can convict the defendants through his confessional statement,” Taiwo said.

The judge also held that there was no proof before the court that three of Evans’ men were killed by the police.

She also convicted Aduba based on his confessional statement and held that he should serve out his term without the option of fine.

“I have considered the allocutus of the defence counsel. This sentencing will serve as deterrent to others. The two are hereby sentenced to five year jail term for first count, second count, 21 years and third count, five years.

“The sentencing will however run concurrently. They are hereby sentenced to 21 years imprisonment without an option of fine,” Taiwo said.

The first defence counsel, Amobi Nzelu, in his allocutus, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that the convict was already serving a life jail term.

“I pray the court to grant him a lesser jail term,” Amobi said.

The second defence counsel, Adeola Folarin, I’m her allocutus, also prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the convict was a first offender.

“My lord, he is a young man that has served his country while in the army. He also had a child while he was in custody. He is a father of two young children and they have not enjoyed his fatherly love. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” Folarin said.

The state counsel, Yusuf Sule, however, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged.

“My lord, the first defendant had been sentenced to life imprisonment before Justice Hakeem Oshodi. I urge the court to sentence the defendants accordingly,” Sule said.